BC Fishing Reports banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fishermen in the Gulf of Alaska have accidentally caught an estimated 58,336 king salmon this year, an unprecedented level of bycatch that could lead to new fishing restrictions.

In recent years the Gulf of Alaska’s bycatch numbers have hovered around 20,000 fish. This year’s numbers surprised both the industry and regulators.

“By far this is the largest (bycatch) we have ever seen,” said Josh Keaton, a fisheries manager with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). “Hopefully it means a lot of kings are out there to be caught and they ran into a big pack of them.”

Most of the bycatch came from the trawl pollock fishery in the last month, especially in the western Gulf.

About 20 boats from King Cove and Sand Point averaged 3.4 king salmon per metric ton of polluck, picking up an estimated 24,878 fish in 12 days of fishing between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17.

Pollock boats in two regions around Kodiak took in 11,896 kings this October.

Julie Bonney, director of the groundfish industry group Groundfish Data Bank, said this is the highest bycatch she has seen as well.

Unlike 2007 — the last time a high level of king bycatch was reported — the bycatch data is considered accurate this year, both Keaton and Bonney said.

Bycatch numbers are estimated using data collected by fisheries observers. Bycatch for non-observed boats is generalized using observed data.

This year’s bycatch numbers could lead to new restrictions or regulations designed to lower bycatch, but not in the immediate future.

Chinook (king salmon) bycatch was already on the agenda for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council agenda this December. The council is not scheduled to take any final action, but will consider a new paper on the subject.

The Gulf of Alaska’s king salmon bycatch this year was also large enough to attract the attention of fishery managers in the Lower 48 because kings accidentally caught in the Gulf of Alaska may be endangered stocks from the Lower 48.

Because this year’s Chinook bycatch exceeded a limit of 40,000 kings, it triggered conversations about the problem with fishery managers in the Lower 48, NMFS manager Melanie Brown said.

King salmon tagged from endangered stocks like the Upper Willamette and lower Columbia rivers have been found in the Gulf of Alaska before.

Salmon bycatch is difficult to control because the fish are always moving around, but the trawl industry does have technologies to reduce it, Bonney said.

One option is salmon excluder devices, openings in trawl nets which let salmon escape. Some devices are used by larger boats.

Another approach is avoiding salmon hot spots, but detecting salmon and avoiding them during a derby-style fishery opening is difficult, Bonney said.

Source:
http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/?pid=19&id=9256

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
I've heard the trollers on the radio Coho fishi ng and talking about how many Chinook they are bringing in, even if they are realising most of those fish are dead.

Bret
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,669 Posts
So do they eat immature pollack? Just wondering about the causes of the by-catch. And how, exactly, does the salmon releaser thing in the net work?
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top